A new way to think about economic growth: stop attracting business, start attracting entrepreneurs.

The lecture given by Marco Cesare Solinas from the University of Bocconi in Italy was moderated by Felix Peña.

The global economic crisis we are facing nowadays, has proven that the growth model from a lot of the south european countries is not sustainable in the long term. This is the greatest challenge for developing countries: choose the good path wisely and looking towards the future, trying to avoid the europeans mistakes, so we can accomplish sustainability in the long term. It is necessary to think about foreign investments in a new way: its the time to stop thinking about lurking big companies to produce and start attracting the entrepreneurs to innovate. During the lecture Marco asked: “Is the crisis the end to a period, and can we learn about the european experience?”

In the European Union, Germany is the one which establishes the rules, this determines the strongest country. Growth isn’t the same as development, due to the fact that growth is seen in the numbers but development is something much deeper which is integrated by: education, health and security.

Marco considers that the best place to live nowadays is China, it has a low cost of life and a pushing capitalism. With the goal of creating a sustainable model of growth, he stated that we should focus on education and entrepreneurship. As a conclusion, Marco commented that lurking brains and entrepreneurs is more important for the country than attracting big companies and factories.

Outside the wall: Pink Floyd and Entrepreneurship

The lectured by Alan Bidart from the Institute of Technology of Buenos Aires was moderated by Juan Manuel Menazzi. Alan decided to prepare his essay focusing on the walls people create around them, this inspiration came from the nine shows in 2011, presented by Pink Floyd, “The Wall”. Its something psychological that many times one create so we don’t have to face different situations, such as possibilities , or something society creates, brick by brick, for example money or resources. He sees this bricks as obstacles and he wondered if they are obstacles or structures, occasional or systematic. Alan’s father is a successful entrepreneur and he inspired him to elaborate this essay. Alan sees entrepreneurship as a crack in this walls where you can always dodge them and create a future; entrepreneurship is a way to survive. Alan established that in order to accomplish this we need to develop an entrepreneurship conscience. During the debate Mariel, a bolivian participant, commented that her country has a great structural problem and the main cause is the lack of entrepreneurship conscience. Another country with this problem is Ecuador, where there is no stimulation of conscience, the students are form with the idea of working in a multinational and in a few places they learn to project themselves in other situations. During the SABF the students propose new platforms that act as the “luck” factor that entrepreneurs need to move forward with their projects.

Changing the Rules of the Game

The lectured by Muhammad Faisal Mukaddam from Institute of Business Management of Pakistán was moderated by Diana Barone.

From the beginning of the meeting, Diana Barone, the workshop’s moderator, invited everyone present to be part of the debate that would take place this morning in the most active of ways. Muhammad specified that it would be a very casual, non-rigid presentation… like a kind of illustration of the title of his essay: changing the way of doing things. And dynamic it was: Muhammad and the participants became one big person, sharing ideas and points of view. The discussion turned around one main issue: what do we understand by “future”? Do we analyse the impact of our actions in the future? Our ancestors certainly did not.

“It takes really smart people to sit down on a room and re-think how the system works”. It is to us, people, to use the tools that we have to produce human-scale changes. We are human beings, not superheroes. Startups, for example, are an excellent way of channeling change itself. Towards the end of the session, a fantastic, very enriching discussion took place. Diana Barone asked: who wants to share ideas to change something that needs to be changed? And ideas were shared…and changes started to be made.

A recipe to sustainable capitalism

The lecture by Tara Jafarmadar from Cambridge University of United States was moderated by Pablo Bereciartúa.

If you knew what mattress you sleep on, would you sleep on it? It is like school. If your grades depend on only one variable, you will never try to incorporate other aspect. Being good is expensive. Cleaning the mess is more expensive than the penalties for not cleaning.

How do we educate consumers? Are we trying to achieve sustainable development or achieve infinite growth
Many questions were made at the beginning of the lecture of Tara Jadarmadar.

We live the same way we did when we developed the system. We are taking growth as linear but in reality it is not. Because of this linear view, almost every ecosystem is in danger. Statistics suggests that 20% of population uses 80% of resources. So, the answer is: “Can we create profitable, expandable companies that do not destroy the world around them?”

Tara’s recipe is composed by Government, Private Sector and Education. One company undoes what another does. We need to redefine business. The way we measure a company’s success is completely wrong. We only look at the profit. We need to measure more than profit. Like social equity and environmental equity. We need to rethink what capitalism is and take it to a contemporary level. Incorporate the new variables in the model.
Educated consumers play a critical role in the business behaviour.

At the end of the session four questions were made:

  • How can we incorporate social equity in the business aspect?
  • How strong is the role of government in this idea?
  • How will corporations move toward a sustainable form of capitalism?
  • How do we educate consumers?

Let’s play to rethink “the game”

The lecture by Felicitas de Zabalía, student from Universidad del Norte Santo Tomás de Aquino, Argentina was moderated by José Luis Roces. She started saying that nowadays is very frequent to listen that our world needs some change, and she questioned how is that we can make it. She suggested that first we need to create conscience about it.

While there is plenty of information about pollution and environmental problems, identifying the problems is very different from being aware of them: “We are aware of environmental problems, but we have no conscience”. Speaking about change must start from school. We should question which values ​​are transmitted at schools, and what is it that we want to encourage. Education should focus on building the core values ​​of the future agents of change. The three main values leaders themselves highlight are: Creativity, Effort and Perseverance. Education should teach how to look for information and connect it with daily practice. “Would it be radical to grade the students’ creativity?”

As Steve Jobs used to say: “Creativity is just connecting dots”. Everything is part of everything. Life, and all its different aspects are one same thing.

Finally, after connecting all the concepts that SABF presented during its first day of lectures, Felicitas finished her presentation by saying: “Everything is connected, life is a circle. It’s all about learning to play.

For an ECOnscious society

The lecture by Francisco Martín Gallego from Universidad Nacional del Sur of Argentina was moderated by Francisco Galtieri. Francisco started his lecture by mentioning some current shocking facts: every year 21 million tons of garbage are generated, which is equivalent to 100.000 Boeing 767. Although the 20% of this is recycled, there’s still a lot to do.

After this, he told about a personal project that started a year and a half ago with the following decision: “From this moment on, no plastic will be thrown in my house”. But after working in a club, he realized that the volume of rubbish there was much more than in his house. He got and idea: generate a network of garbage collection in which each node of the network has a significative volume of rubbish.

Based on his experience, Gallego said: “In order to rethink the rules of the game we can not keep only with waste separation and collection. We need to spread the word. We have to make the people want to take care of the environment, make it fashionable. But not as all the other trends that go out of fashion, we need to make it something permanent.”

In his opinion these kind of activities can be framed in the concept of social business, businesses which are based in social problems. He believes this is the best example of rethinking the rules of the game.
To conclude, he made reference to SABF’s first day: “As somebody said yesterday don’t try to change the world but the world that surrounds you”

After the keynote, a very interesting debate took place among the participants. They talked about the different ways in which people recycle in their cities of origin, the opinions on a company earning money from recycling and the possibility of making people concious through gamification